NORFOLK, Va. — The Sickle Cell Association of Hampton Roads will host its 26th Annual Walk for Sickle Cell on September 14.

The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the William “Dick" Price Stadium at Norfolk State University in Norfolk. Virginia.

The grand marshal for the walk is Dr. Beverly Boone Harris, Director of Disability Services, (OASIS) at Norfolk State.

This year's theme is “We are Stronger Together -- Advocate, Educate."

Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder that affects hemoglobin, the protein found in red blood cells. A person with the disease has red blood cells that change from round and flexible doughnut-shaped cells to hard, stiff and sticky shaped cells that resemble a crescent moon. These crescent moon shaped cells make it difficult for the red blood cells to flow smoothly through the veins.

Currently, there is no universal cure for the disease. While it primarily affects African Americans, it also affects people with Hispanic, Southern European, Middle Eastern, Asian, and Indian backgrounds.

Currently, the association serves more than 230 families in Hampton Roads.

In recognition of this 26th annual walk, the Sickle Cell Association hopes to raise $25,000 to continue its work on behalf of those people diagnosed with Sickle Cell and their families.

In the past, individuals and groups such as churches, civic organizations, sororities, fraternities, and local businesses have supported the walk and the association looks forward to more people joining the fight against sickle cell disease during this 26th-anniversary milestone.

To register for the walk or for more information, call Judy Anderson, Executive Director, Sickle Cell Association, Inc. at 757-466-0332 or register online. Onsite registration is also available the day of the event.